Next aim victory in Gujarat assembly polls: Ahmed Patel


In the high-stakes contest, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel was finally elected though only 43 of the state's 51 Congress MLAs voted for him.

The other two seats have been won easily by BJP Chief Amit Shah, who makes his debut in Parliament, and Union Minister Smriti Irani.

"Satyameva Jayate. This is not just my victory".

Congress veteran and Sonia Gandhi aide Ahmed Patel retained his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, after an election drama that continued way past midnight on Tuesday.

Another one is Nitish Kumar's JD (U) with its sole MLA Chhotu Vasava reportedly saying that no instruction had been given by the party and that he voted for the Congress.

During the meeting he congratulated BJP chief Amit Shah for completing three years as president of the party and his win in Gujarat Rajya Sabha election. The national spokesperson for the party however said that Vasava had been instructed to vote for BJP, their new ally. "With its unabashed use of power of all kinds €" a trick, no doubt, borrowed from the Congress €" it turned the election into an ode to horse-trading and a joke on anti-defection laws.

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The Congress filed two applications for rejection of votes tendered by two MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel, for violating the polling procedures.

"The party has expelled all eight rebel MLAs, including Shankersinh Vaghela, who cross-voted against Ahmed bhai, defying the party whip", Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told IANS.

Modi also asked the lawmakers and BJP office-bearers to actively undertake the "Sankalp se Siddhi" (from pledge to execution) programme, which envisioned a "new India" by 2022, the 75th anniversary of the country's independence.

First, Shankersinh Vaghela, who the party had imported from the BJP two decades ago, engineered cross-voting by 11 Congress legislators in the Presidential polls and then soon after announced his decision to quit the party while making it abundantly clear that all was not well for the Congress in Gujarat. Vaghela had confidently claimed that about 30 Congress MLAs would leave the "sinking ship" if they were promised BJP tickets in the forthcoming assembly elections. Not only this, the party won a thumping majority in the 2017 state Assembly elections, which also saw Yogi Adityanath at the helm.

Reacting to the win, senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that this defeat is a lesson for the BJP and they are free to approach any court. "I don't want to comment on Amit Shah on personal level" Patel said. Out of 182 total votes, 172 were cast in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha seats.